Can New York residents do New Jersey surrogacy? This is the most common question I am asked about the new surrogacy law in New Jersey because surrogacy is banned in New York. The answer is a resounding: “Yes!” New York residents now can create families through surrogacy in New Jersey, instead of bearing the financial and emotional toll of travelling halfway around the country to other surrogacy-friendly states.

The two biggest changes in New Jersey surrogacy law make New Jersey a great state for New York residents pursuing surrogacy.

First, gestational surrogacy agreements – which are illegal in New York – are now enforceable in New Jersey if either the intended parents or gestational surrogate resides in New Jersey.  A gestational surrogate, also called a gestational carrier, carries an embryo not genetically related to her for a family, called intended parents. The embryo is created with the intended parents’ ova and sperm or donated ova or sperm.

The New Jersey court will enter an order of parentage for the intended parents before the baby is born. That means that the gestational surrogate’s parental rights are ended before the baby is born and the intended parents are the legal parents whose names appear on the birth certificate.

Second, gestational surrogates now can obtain payments in a New Jersey surrogacy. Intended parents can pay for a New Jersey surrogate’s medical, legal, living, and counseling expenses. These payments are criminal under New York law and preclude New York residents from entering a surrogacy arrangement with a surrogate living in New York.

New Jersey surrogacy is a welcome option for New York residents hoping to become parents through this 21st century assisted reproduction banned in their state.